Choosing the Right Motorcycle Helmet

Trusted Content

Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. January 04, 2019
Choosing the Right Motorcycle Helmet

While a motorcycle helmet is not always required in Florida, everyone knows it’s a good idea to wear one. Serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists in Florida because riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. Motorcycle helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67% effective in preventing brain injuries. It’s important to make sure you have the right motorcycle helmet to stay as safe as possible. There are some important factors you should take into consideration when purchasing a helmet:

Get the Correct Size

Determining whether a motorcycle helmet is the correct size goes beyond determining if you are “small,” “medium,” or “large.” The ideal fit involves determining head size. Measure the circumference of your head and compare it to the size charts manufacturers put together for each helmet. A correctly sized helmet will move slightly but will pull on the skin of the scalp and face to prevent rotation or large movements. Make sure to try on the helmet before purchasing it to ensure the correct fit and comfort. A new helmet should generally fit more snugly because it becomes a little looser after use.

Choose the Safest Motorcycle Helmet Type

There are numerous styles of helmets, but the three main types are full face, ¾, and ½. A full-face helmet is the safest choice because it offers the most coverage surrounding your face and neck. A full-face helmet also includes a chin bar which other helmets lack. Chin bars can protect you from serious injury if your face hits the pavement in an accident. You should also make sure your helmet has a thermoplastic or reinforced composite shell-like polycarbonate. You should also look for a helmet that has an impact-absorbing liner and a chin strap.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards

Motorcycle helmets must meet standards laid out by the Department of Transportation. Approved helmets should have a “DOT” sticker. Some motorcycle helmet manufacturers go beyond those standards and strive to comply with standards set out by the Snell Memorial Foundation. These standards, while not required in the United States, go above and beyond the minimum criteria and include helmets that have passed:

  • Impact testing
  • Positional Stability (Roll-Off) Test
  • Dynamic Retention Test
  • Chin Bar Test
  • Shell Penetration Test
  • Face Shield Penetration Test

Helmets that meet Snell standards have been rigorously safety tested. Look for indications that your helmet has met these standards.

Contact a Trusted Attorney

While helmets can go a long way toward protecting you in an accident, they can’t prevent all injuries. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should consult with an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.